photography

Wealfies & Fake Brand Names

Curated by CLAI

WEALFIES: Wealfies are selfies taken in a luxury context that confirm one has money, status and social currency. The paradigmatic wealfie is the image you take of yourself getting on or off a private jet, possibly on your way to New Year’s Eve in Morocco or Anguilla.

But to the extent that people so closely identify with the things that they buy and receive, the picture shot of the Hermès or Chanel or Prada gift “unboxed” and then posted on Instagram is another kind of wealfie. Of course, there are so many ways to broadcast status these days.

Read more: The Season of the Wealfie (NYTIMES)

Chrisdien Deny

Chrisdien Deny (Gilles Sabrie, NYTIMES)

FANCY BRANDS WITH FANCY GIBBERISH NAMES: Eager to glaze their products with the sheen of international sophistication, many homegrown retail brands have hit upon a similar formula: Choose a non-Chinese name that gives the impression of being foreign. Some Chinese appear loath to spend their disposable income on locally produced fashions.

  • Chrisdien Deny, a retail chain with more than 500 locations across China, sells belts, shoes and clothing with an “Italian style” — and a logo with the same font as Christian Dior’s.
  • Helen Keller, named for the deaf-blind American humanitarian, offers trendy sunglasses and classic spectacles at over 80 stores, with the motto “you see the world, the world sees you.”
  • Frognie Zila, a clothing brand sold in 120 stores in China, boasts that its “international” selection is “one of the first choices of successful politicians and businessmen” and features pictures on its website of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Venetian canals.
  • Other apparel brands include Wanko, Hotwind, Scat, Orgee and Marisfrolg (the L is silent)and Biemlfdlkk.

Read more: Adidos and Hotwind? In China, Brands Adopt Names to Project Foreign Flair (NYTIMES)

Advertisements

Selfie Makovers and Facebook Backburners

Curated by CLAI

SELFIE MAKEOVER APP: If you haven’t been hitting the gym lately, Photox can add six-pack abs ($3.96), give you skinny legs ($3.96) or bulk-up your arms ($2.97). If it’s a dermatologist you desire, the app can also minimize wrinkles ($2.97), lighten skin ($3.96) and remove acne (99 cents). Photox is connects people with a team of experienced photo editors who can alter images as quickly and naturally as possible.

Developed by a No. Virginia professional, Photox allows users to submit photos for an editing makeover. (Courtesy of Photox)

DIGITAL INFIDELITY: Facebook users in relationships frequently use the site to keep in touch with “back-burners” — exes or platonic friends they know they could connect with romantically, should their current relationships go south.

  • Men have back-burners at roughly twice the rate of women.
  • On average, respondents in relationships said they had romantic or sexual conversations with two people (!) besides their current partner.

40 years, 40 portraits, 4 sisters, & Hello Kitty’s 40th Birthday

Curated by CLAI

4 SISTERS, 40 PORTRAITS, 40 YEARS: Who are these sisters? The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years (Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie) 1975, New Canaan, Conn. (Credits: Nicholas Nixon, NYTIMES)

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years (Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie) 1975, New Canaan, Conn. (Credits: Nicholas Nixon, NYTIMES)

HELLO KITTY TURNS 40! Hello Kitty is celebrating a big birthday this year. In the time since the first simple coin purse was sold in Japan back in 1974, Hello Kitty has become a multi-billion dollar empire — $8 billion worth of products bearing her image sold internationally in 2013. The Japanese company that created the cartoon cat now oversees the production of products ranging from backpacks to lunchboxes to picture books.

Simone Legno's 2014 sculpture Kittypatra is on display at the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. (NPR)

Simone Legno’s 2014 sculpture Kittypatra is on display at the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. (NPR)

Wine by Prison Inmates & Cuisine by Camera

Curated by CLAI

KILLER WINE BY THE MAFIA: 18 miles off Tuscany’s coast, Gorgona is Italy’s last island prison – where its inmates serving 30-year sentences for murders and serious crimes make the region’s best wines.

  • “In other prisons I was locked up for 22 hours a day in a cell 2-by-3 yards wide. Here I’m outdoors from morning to night.” Prinzi, who’s 43, is serving a 25-year sentence for murder.
  • Gorgona Prison director Carlo Mazzerbo is a staunch environmentalist who says Gorgona is an ideal place to discuss issues such as organic farming, vegetarianism and animal rights. He believes inmates should be encouraged to take part in the dialogue.
  • Wine writers chatter and mingle with prison guards and inmates as long-stemmed glasses are filled with an amber-colored liquid. Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi is hosting a wine-tasting under a pergola on a terrace overlooking the sea.
  • Frescobaldi has signed a 15-year winemaking agreement with Gorgona. And he says he’s willing to hire some of these workers once they’re released.
Italian Wine by Inmates

Marquise Lamberto Frescobaldi (right), of the winemaking dynasty, talks with prisoners Brian Baldissin (left) and Francesco Papa at his vineyard on Gorgona island (NPR)

CAMERA CUISINE: A side effect of the digital age in food photography, camera cuisine is any dish that was inspired by a picture or aspires to be one. “It’s become a visual medium. We’re eating with our eyes first.” Digital food photography is a cheap marketing tool as well. A snapshot of a new dish uploaded last night can cause a bump in reservations this afternoon.

Digital Food Photography

Digital Food Photography (NYTIMES)

The World This Week in 10 Photos

Curated by CLAI

The World This Week in 10 Photos (Washington Post)

Emily Herren takes a picture with her phone as she visits the Flower Fields, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Carlsbad, Calif. A longtime Southern California attraction, the April blooms of colorful Ranunculus flowers at this roadside farm are a springtime tradition. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

4/2/2014: Flower fields in CA (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Luci Hamlin and her husband Specialist Timothy Hamlin wait to get back to their home on base at  Fort Hood, Texas, April 2, 2014. Several people were killed and at least 14 injured on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a U.S. Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of another rampage in 2009, U.S. officials said. REUTERS/Austin American-Statesman/Deborah Cannon  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT

4/2/2014: Shooting at Ford Hood, TX (REUTERS/Austin American-Statesman/Deborah Cannon)

Residents walk to higher ground after a 7.6 magnitude quake, following Tuesday's earthquake and tsunami, in the northern port of Iquique April 2, 2014. There were no reports of casualties or damage to infrastructure after the powerful 7.6 magnitude quake that triggered a tsunami alert, Chile's Onemi emergency office told Reuters on Thursday. The quake struck off northern Chile late on Wednesday, prompting tsunami alerts and evacuations along the coast and in neighboring Peru.  Picture taken April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (CHILE - Tags: DISASTER)

4/2/2014: Earthquake in Chile (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)

A worker attaches the name tag of a Buddhist who made donation to a lantern for upcoming celebration of Buddha's birthday on May 6 at the Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

4/3/2014: Buddha’s Birthday in Korea (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Residents walk on a street during a sandstorm in Hami, northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region on April 3, 2014. Hami issued an "orange alert" for a sandstorm on April 3, warning residents to reduce outdoor activities and avoid dangerous jobs.   CHINA OUT     AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

4/3/2014: Sandstorm in China (AFP/Getty Images)